Thurso, 14th March 2015
Caithness U18s 14, Orkney U18s 27
Orkney travelled across the water to Caithness for a league fixture with their largest team of the season, registering 21 boys. The Caithness side only had 9 players so Orkney lent all its spare players to Caithness in order to make the trip worthwhile. This meant that both sides had 15 players and no substitutions. The kick-off was at 10.30 and it was a chilly day but with the sun shining hopefully.
Rotations were made between the Orkney players on each side to ensure that all the players got some time playing for Orkney. Orkney started the second half well and a 4th try was narrowly alluded following a surging run from Kaylem Dalton which was stopped 1 metre short. Caithness then fought back, dictated by Taylor Pilkington-Tait who scored for Caithness 10 minutes into the second half. There were two injuries from the Orkney boys coming from captain Cameron Gray and Sam Kennedy who dislocated his shoulder and had to go to hospital. The team became disjointed with the electric winger Jason Scott moving into the second row. Caithness took advantage of Orkneys confusion and scored a second try bringing them to within one point of Orkney, at 15-14. Orkneys top try scorer and most exciting prospect Fergus Macivor silenced Caithness’ onslaught with 2 trademark tries, one of them being converted by the kicker Sam Croy. This took the final score for the day to 27-14.
The Orkney boys played well on both sides and special mentions have to go the Under 16 players Dylan Evans, Kaylem Dalton, Magnus Merriman and Ali Bradley who stepped up to the Under 18 level and gave strong statements for their place in the team next season. Also, to Andrew MacDonlad, Jason Scott, Jack Paterson and Connor Crawford who joined the team to replace the absentees from the usual squad and hopefully carry on to play for the remainder of the season. Finally, to all the players who played for the Caithness side and showed no sign of bias just a pure passion for rugby. Man of the match went to Fergus, for his 3 tries.
On behalf of the team, I would like to say that we are all grateful to Sam Kennedy for his persistent contribution throughout the season and we all wish him a speedy recovery back to the rugby field.
Match Report by Cameron Gray